However, a lack of coverage is simply not the answer. In fact, not having covered benefits actually prevents many autistic children from becoming self-sufficient, productive adults.
See also: Autism mandate has ‘minimal’ effect in Missouri.
And if families can’t afford a supplemental policy, their loved ones often go without treatment. This is very unfortunate, as ABA has been shown to be effective in mainstreaming many children with autistic-spectrum disorders.
Why autism insurance coverage is vital
As insurers, it’s crucial to fully understand why autism coverage is important and the mutual benefits it has for both insurance companies and families. Here are four reasons insurance coverage is vital for everyone involved:
- Mainstreaming students helps curb autism and saves everyone money. Early intervention with students can help level the playing field later on. Mainstreamed students go on to hold jobs and raise families. Providing coverage for early intervention will allow these students to become productive members of society, saving millions of dollars in the future.
- Insurers collect more premiums, and families get better coverage. Many families purchase family insurance plans. But by providing coverage for autism-spectrum disorders, insurers will be able to collect the premiums on that coverage rather than have families pay premiums to other insurers.
- Parents and caretakers will be healthier. It’s well-known that insurance providers appreciate healthy clients. By providing coverage for autism-spectrum disorders, the parents and caretakers of individuals with autism will have more time and energy to practice preventive health measures for themselves. And without the stress of worrying about their family members’ care, they will experience added health benefits beyond regular checkups and screenings.
- Insurance companies will gain a broader client base. Now that autism-spectrum coverage is a requirement in many states, insurance companies have a great opportunity to gain clients. They can enhance their reputations by being ahead of the curve on autism coverage. Insurance companies with the best reputation will attract the most clients, and companies with a large number of clients have the opportunity to become very powerful and influential within the insurance field.
Autistic-spectrum coverage can make a truly remarkable difference in people’s lives.
For example, a few years ago, I worked with a 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism. Insurance-covered ABA was made possible by a team of three ABA therapists, a coordinator, and a case manager.
After two years of care, the parents and treatment team decided that a “summer camp” experience would be beneficial for getting the boy classroom-ready. And at the end of the two-month summer camp, the parents and treatment team felt that the boy would be classroom-ready by age 7 and mainstreamed by age 8 or 9. Had this family not received coverage, the boy still wouldn’t be able to attend school.
Seeing victories like the one above is a great reminder that, at the end of the day, the purpose of insurance companies is to enable people to lead happier and healthier lives. With autism care coverage, the one in 68 children in the U.S. with autism will have access to the care they need to grow into healthy kids, teens, and adults.